Happy National Lobster Day! Having grown up in New England I have an affinity for Maine Lobster! In a twist of irony this rich and decadent food was once so abundant it was considered a poor mans dish. Here are some amazing facts about lobsters, as well as a recipe for poor mans lobster that might help your craving while staying within your grocery budget. . .
Did you know?
- Lobsters were once so plentiful that they literally washed ashore in piles 2 feet high. They were known as a “poor man’s Protein”.
- Lobsters were considered “dirt cheap” and were literally fed to prisoners, slaves, children and apprentices during the colonial era.
- Originally lobsters were simply hand picked off the shoreline during low tide. Later, in the 1700’s, Smacks were used. A smack is boat that featured tanks with holes allowing the ocean water to circulate to transport live lobsters.
- The largest known lobster weighed in at 44 pounds and was a whopping 42 inches long and was caught off the coast of Nova Scotia. It was believed to be about 100 years old, incidentally, that’s twice the Normal expected lifespan of a lobster.
- A cull is a lobster with only 1 claw
In an ironic twist, lobster is no longer an abundantly frugal dish. As such, we thought we’d share an old Mariners recipe for Poor Man’s Lobster, which is actually a rather tasty substitute for this fabulous crustacean.
2 Cups water
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon minced dried onions
1 Tablespoon dried lemon peel
1 Tablespoon butter
1 T. White Vinegar
white fish fillets (Cod or Haddock, preferably)
*additional Melted Butter
In a large frying pan combine the water, salt, minced dried onion, lemon peel and butter over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Add the whitefish and poach until the fish is flaky and cooked throughout. Remove from the water, serve drizzled with melted butter and a baked potato.
While this isn’t lobster, if cooked properly, it offers a rich decadent flavor that can hold a person over until the next opportunity to dine on the real thing!
By Claude Covo-Farchi from Paris, France via Wikimedia Commons